Listening is essential to learning. I hear many voices, especially on television, but I don’t really listen to them. I hear them but am not listening. I feel that much, if not all, of what they have to say is not important and/or is too depressing or divisive. The story of The Transfiguration in Matthew 17 is a powerful reminder of the importance to listen to Jesus.
“After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. 4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.”
There are many pieces of this story that are important for us to understand. One particular area of interest to me is that Peter offered to put up shelters for Jesus, Moses, and Elijiah. surely did this out of love and respect for them all. It is noteworthy that the following verse is the voice of God saying “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!” The last three words particularly resonate with me – “Listen to Him.” The disciples fall facedown to the ground and later arise and only Jesus is present.
I wonder if the words and timing of God’s words were meant to not only send a message to Peter but to all of us. Perhaps that message is do not put good men on the same level as Jesus. Do not worship your pastor, the preacher on television, or your favorite football player. They are merely men and as such are sinners and no better than anybody else. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
This story reminds me of the first pubic miracle of Jesus. The transformation of water into wine at the Marriage at Cana or Wedding at Cana is the first miracle attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of John. In the Gospel account, Jesus, his mother and his disciples are invited to a wedding, and when the wine runs out, Jesus delivers a sign of his glory by turning water into wine. Many of us know this story and marvel at this. The part of the story that stands out for me is what his mother said to the servants when she noticed they had no wine. “Whatever He says to you, do it.” The counsel of a mother is always wise, especially that of Jesus. I wonder how simple and blessed my life would be if I followed the advice that God gave to Peter and Mary gave to the servants. Listen for His voice and be blessed my friends.
Todd Shupe is the President of DrToddShupe.com and is a well recognized expert on wood-based housing and wood science. Shupe worked as a professor and lab director at LSU for over 20 years. He is active in several ministries including his Christian blog ToddShupe.com. Todd is the Secretary of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men, Database Coordinator for Gulf South Men, and volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, Iron Sharpens Iron, Open Air Ministries, HOPE Ministries food pantry. Todd is currently preparing to be a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men.